Landscaping With Native Plants
Many native plants are attractive ornamentals and adapt easily to garden conditions in the Pacific Northwest. Create a woodland, wetland, or meadow in your own landscape. If you live in eastern Washington take a walk through the desert in spring. Dryland shrubs, perennials and grasses can be planted in the spring or fall.
Find out what your neighbors already know about gardening with Washington’s wonderful natives!
Gardening with Native Plants for Wildife
Native plants provide the food, shelter, and nesting habitat favored by our local wildlife. Make your garden a sanctuary for songbirds, hummingbirds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife using native plants.
Did you Know?
- Native plants are adapted to our climate of wet winters and dry summers.
- Require less water than most non-natives once they are established.
- Resist native pests and diseases better.
- Improve water quality by needing less fertilizer and no pesticides.
- Save resources and encourage a sense of Stewardship.
Native plants will need a little care in their infancy in order to develop a healthy root system so provide them with supplemental water the first couple of years, but after that most natives planted in a favorable site require little additional attention.
Finding Native Plants for Your Garden
Buy native plants at spring and fall plant sales offered by conservation districts, native plant chapters, and other organizations. Participating nurseries will be offering native plant material during native plant week and many nurseries offer good native plant stock throughout the year – just ask.
You can salvage plants from sites soon to be developed. Remember you must get permission from the property owners before removing native plants. Some counties offer native plant salvage programs where in return for your volunteer efforts helping the salvage program throughout the year you may participate in salvage events and salvage some plants for yourself. They’ll also show you how best to salvage native plants for success.
Do not take native plants from wild sites unless the site is about to be destroyed.
Preserving Native Plant Habitat & Restoration
South Puget Sound Prairie photographed by Rod Gilbert. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
The most important thing we can do is to work towards preserving healthy native plant communities through conservation, protection and advocacy. Large natural areas are better at supporting biodiversity, but numerous small areas help too.
Many people are volunteering to restore native plant communities by removing invasive non-natives and replanting with native plants. Get involved in your community to help restore valuable urban forests, salmon streams, wetlands, prairies or the incredible shrub-steppe communities of eastern Washington.
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